Weekends can be a tricky time to figure out meals for our busy crew. Between children’s sleepovers, our house renovations, unpredictable weather, and chores around the property (that are completely dependent on that unpredictable weather,) it is hard to find time to cook up a hot meal, let alone predict when we might each be hungry. We all get up at different times on the weekend, which means that instead of one big sit-down meal, we need to have something filling and hearty that we can eat as our stomachs demand. For me, throwing together simple ingredients in my slow cooker first thing on a Saturday morning is the easiest way to make sure that I have a good answer to “What is there to eat?” without having to stand over the stove all day. After all, I want to enjoy my Saturday as well, and be free to spend a few hours hitting the flea markets or catching up with a girlfriend over coffee.
I recently researched new ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day meal, and I stumbled upon a dish called Dublin Coddle. The name of this dish comes from the verb “coddle,” meaning to cook food in water below boiling, which in turn derives from “caudle,” a warm drink given to the sick. Apparently, Dublin Coddle has long been a dish made to help cure the Saturday morning hangover following a rousing Friday night at the pub. The ingredients are simple, filling and inexpensive, and the dish evidently holds the perfect combination of grease and starch for anyone feeling a little green after indulging a few too many Guinness’s (which means it might be the perfect dish to take to work to the office for the day after St. Patrick’s). But while I cannot attest to coddle’s healing powers, I can attest to its deliciousness from a test run on a recent weekend. The dish was easy to make and I spent little time in the kitchen worrying about it over the course of the day. The children loved it (some ketchup might have been added to one bowl) as did my husband. I think it is safe to say that this coddle will become a slow cooker staple at our house, especially on the weekends.
DUBLIN CODDLE in the SLOW COOKER
Preparation Time: 5-9 hours (depending)
- 3 sausages (preferably Irish or mild sausage)
- 6 strips of bacon
- 4 large potatoes (gold work best)
- 2 large carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 1 beef stock cube
- ¾ cup of water
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaf
- Heat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Cut your onion into thick slices.
- Place your sausage and bacon into two separate iron skillets.
- Cover the pork with the onion slices – half in each pan.
- Cook the sausage, bacon, and onion in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pork is done and the onions are translucent.
- Once they are cooked, remove from oven and let cool.
- Add 1 cup of water to your slow cooker and turn it on high. Drop in the beef stock cube and stir until it dissolves.
- Peel, rinse and cut your potatoes into large chunks. Cut up your carrots and peel your garlic glove.
- Once the meat and onions are cooled, cut them into large chunks and add to your slow cooker.
- Add two tablespoons of the bacon grease to the mixture, as well as the clove of garlic.
- Top with the potatoes and carrots.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook at high (4 hours) or low setting (8 hours) until done.
- Once done, spoon into a bowl and top with chopped celery leaf.
- You can also leave in the slow cooker on the warm setting for up to two hours if you are feeding a come-and-go crew.